Friday, May 6, 2016

Bugs and Insects!

Hi! It's Carolyn from Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together.

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year because I can get outside with my kids while they have fun learning!   In Upstate NY, we wait a long time to be able to get outside  and not be freezing!

Dr. Jean and I made this new unit about Bugs and Insects. We wanted it to be 100% useful, practical, fun learning.  My kids now know so much about bugs- and they loved learning about them.

The packet includes a Prezi about Bugs and Insects (of course, cause I love using Prezis, you know!); QR Codes about insects, insect life cycles, and various children's books about insects; writing prompts to go with books (which also include a QR code, so the kids can listen to the stories again at home!); and hands-on activities and games that are tried-and-true.  It also includes a download for Dr. Jean's song The Insect's Body. These are all activities I love to use in my classroom, so we put them all together in one place for a great, easy to use unit.

This packet was fun to put together because what's not to love about bugs?  OK- well- there may have been a wasp in our classroom a few days ago that MAY have caused quite a commotion.  I think he just knew we'd been learning all about him this week and came as a guest appearance.  Thanks, Wasp. Luckily he was "bug related," because all learning stopped as every little head followed his every move around the room. I'm just surprised it wasn't time for my pop in observation, because that would have been about right.

Here are some of the highlights of the packet:
Dr. Jean's Song!
Insect's Body is such a great way to learn the parts of an insect and move at the same time.  The kids love it and sing it all the time!
Insect's Body Song Download with Lyrics

Here is her BRAND NEW video to go with the song!

The Prezi
This Prezi has songs, scientific videos, stories, games, and a few anchor charts about bugs.  This is great to use to introduce or reinforce all sorts of insect information.  We watch the videos  or sing the songs anytime we have a few extra minutes. So much learning happens in those minutes!

The QR Codes
Many of the same videos from the Prezi are in the QR Code packet.  This way, you can show them and talk about them whole group, and then the kids can watch them over and over until their hearts are content during a Listening Center.  I made these books this week, and the kids have been using them during Free Choice time, too.  They love them.
Writing Prompts
Many of the QR Codes have writing prompt to go along with them.  This way,  if you want a recording sheet for the listening center, you can use these writing prompts.  We did some together after we read the stories aloud.  They had fun writing their opinion pieces about what bug they would like to be and why.  We combined the stories, listening center, and nature walk and then did The Very Quiet Cricket and In the Tall, Tall Grass.
One of his favorites is Sesame Chicken.  YUM.

I like to put the QR Code for the story right on the Writing Prompts.  That way, the children can listen to the story again at home.  I send a little note home to parents about how they can download a free QR Code reader on their devices at home.  The kids feel so grown-up being able to listen to the story again with the QR Code.  It's just another fun reinforcement.
Dr. Jean and I put together some of our tried-and-true favorite activities about bugs.  We both love hands-on learning and believe it's the way children take on information and really learn and remember best.  My kids had a ball with the activities this week! 
The "compound eyes" are circles cut from cupcake liners that had dots on them! Perfect!
Insect Journals!
Here are some fun crafts I found that are great to add to the bug fun.

Crafty Morning shared this bubblewrap painting beehive with fingerprint bees.  So cute.

                              Bubble Wrap Beehive + Fingerprint Bee Craft for Kids! #Bee art project |                
Or how about this cute bubblewrap bug?!

Bubblewrap also makes GREAT compound eyes when you have out materials for the children to build their own bugs!

Pink Stripey Socks shared these great egg carton bugs.  I love the ant because you can really see those three body parts!
make egg carton insects (bees and ants)- easy and fun craft
I love making stone ladybugs with my kids!  You can also paint the back end with glow-in-the-dark paint and make fireflies!
I draw the outline of the bug with a Sharpie.

The children pick their favorite bug stone. I have different sizes so they love picking their favorite. 

They draw  a little face on the front part and write their name on the bottom with a Sharpie.  Then, they paint the sides red and the back section black.  They put the black dots on right then with a cotton swab.  You don't have to wait until the red is dry.

When they are all dry, I shellack them so they will be weatherproof outside in a garden.

What a fun celebration after the Bug and Insect unit these would make from The Crafting Chicks!
Back Yard Bug Snacks
One more thing! Dr. Jean and I also made a Summer Writing Journal for you FREE at my TpT store.
Each prompt has 3 versions:  one with all the same font (black and white); one with different fonts (black and white); one with fun fonts and colored clipart.

There are 4 different covers you can use for the book- OR you could print out some prompts, put them in a pocket folder for each student, and encourage the children to add "summer treasures" to the folder.  They can include things like ticket stubs, pamphlets from trips, or pictures.

These packets are a great way to show students how useful, fun, and creative writing can be.

I hope you found some things you like.  Enjoy these last weeks of school.

Thank you for stopping by!  

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